Leeuwarden, Netherlands

A Degrowth Trajectory Towards Living with Earth through a Planetary Health Lens

online course
when 24 June 2024 - 29 June 2024
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 EC
fee EUR 350

We live in an era of accelerated crises: the ecological collapse, the recent pandemic, and the emerging conflicts in many regions of the world are only some of the threats we are facing.

These phenomena are the downstream consequences of a series of upstream drivers: the interdependent relationships between political, social, economic, and cultural powers, which influence our physical and social environments, the generation of evidence surrounding problems and their solutions, and even the public discourse.

These upstream drivers and downstream consequences also reinforce global and local inequalities and injustice, while challenging our own existence on this planet and the health of the planet itself.

Living with Earth, where humanity is only a part of the ecosystem, is not impossible, but it requires a fundamental change from our current social system: one that centres on Planetary Health and questions the feasibility of perpetual wealth accumulation, given our planet's limited resources i.e., Degrowth.

Planetary Health is a new field of study that focuses on the impacts of human disruption on Earth’s natural system on human health and all life on Earth. Although complex, the matter under study in Planetary Health is intrinsically connected to the current challenges, shifting the focus from humans to the ecosystems they are embedded to. Thus, Planetary Health is a necessary lens for analysing and understanding the upstream drivers and downstream consequences pertaining to our society.

Degrowth proposes a societal model that shifts from profit maximisation and accumulation – a direct result of the exploitation of nature and people – to the fulfilment of social needs and ecological justice.

The role of degrowth as a trajectory to live with Earth under a Planetary Health perspective will be a central theme of our summer school, guiding our discussion and learning.

Course leader

Dr Arianna Rotulo, University of Groningen

Dr Valentina Gallo, University of Groningen

Target group

Our summer school is ideal for all those interested in exploring the intersections of planetary health, degrowth/ecosocialism, and ecological sustainability, regardless of their background.

The program is designed to ensure all attendees start from a unified knowledge base.

We particularly encourage applications from students across various disciplines to enrich the learning environment with diverse perspectives and experiences. This transdisciplinary approach aims to enhance peer learning, allowing participants to gain insights from one another's unique viewpoints.

This summer school is perfect for:

- Undergraduates, graduates, and postgraduates from any field of study looking to broaden their understanding of planetary health and degrowth, with a critical lens.

- Professionals and practitioners, especially employed in the third sector, interested in integrating the summer school’s concepts into their work.

- Activists and community leaders seeking to deepen their knowledge and impact in ecological justice and social transformation.

As the summer School will unfold online, we don’t require in person attendance, although students are very welcome to join us at Campus Fryslan in Leeuwarden – the Netherlands, where we have reserved a classroom to the use of our students.

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English.

Course aim

After this summer school you will be able to:

- Explain the fundamentals of planetary health and degrowth: Clearly articulate the underlying determinants of planetary health, the principles, and the mechanisms that integrate degrowth with planetary health.
- Design and Evaluate Degrowth Strategies: Participants will be able to design strategies that prioritize ecological and social justice. They will learn to evaluate the potential effectiveness and feasibility of these strategies using criteria that encompass ecological, economic, and social dimensions, aligned with Planetary Health principles.
- Analyse policies and governance structures through a planetary health perspective: Learners will gain the competence to critically analyze existing structures and propose modifications to better align with the principles of Planetary Health and degrowth.
- Communicate Complex Concepts Effectively: Participants will be equipped with the ability to communicate complex concepts related to Planetary Health and degrowth to a variety of audiences, including non-experts, in a clear and persuasive manner.

Credits info

2 EC

Preparation: 30 hours
Lectures: 20 hours
Presentation: 8 hours

Upon successful completion of the programme, the Summer School offers a Certificate of Attendance that mentions the workload of 56 hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS). Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.

Fee info

EUR 350: Our summer school adopts a proportional fee structure, which amounts to 1.5% of the per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the student's country of residence. However, this fee is subject to a maximum limit of €350.

For instance:
A student residing in Argentina would be charged a fee of €188. This figure is calculated as 1.5% of Argentina's GDP per capita in 2022, which is €12,558.

Conversely, a student from the Netherlands would pay a fee of €350. Although 1.5% of the Netherlands' GDP per capita in 2022 (€52,463) would ordinarily amount to €786, the fee is reduced to €350 to adhere to the maximum cap.

Register for this course
on course website